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Marianne Moore 1887-1972
To A Snail
If "compression is the first grace of style,"
you have it. Contractility is a virtue
as modesty is a virtue.
It is not the acquisition of any one thing
that is able to adorn,
or the incidental quality that occurs
as a concomitant of something well said,
that we value in style,
but the principle that is hid:
in the absence of feet, "a method of conclusions";
"a knowledge of principles,"
in the curious phenomenon of your occipital horn.

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John Bunyan (November 30, 1628 - August 31, 1688) Upon a snail She goes but softly, but she goeth sure, She stumbles not, as stronger creatures do. Her journey's shorter, so she may endure Better than they which do much farther go. She makes no noise, but stilly seizeth on The flower or herb appointed for her food, The which she quietly doth feed upon While others range and glare, but find no good. And though she doth but very softly go, However, 'tis not fast nor slow, but sure; And certainly they that do travel so, The prize they do aim at they do procure.

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